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Constitutional Law

SCOTUS Opinion on COVID Church Restriction is Brief But Says a lot About the Court.

A few days ago, at midnight, the Supreme Court rejected a church’s challenge to California’s COVID-19 restrictions by a 5–4 vote, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining what is considered the liberal wing of Breyer, Sotomayor, Ginsburg and Kagan. In a pointed concurring opinion, Roberts chided the conservative wing for trying to override public health […]

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Constitutional Law

Eliminating Religious Exemption to Vaccination Should Withstand First Amendment Challenge

The recent outbreaks of measles and mumps across the country have been linked to communities and families that claim a religious exemption to the vaccine and to “anti-vaxxers” who claim a link between the vaccines and autism. The development of vaccines, beginning at the end of the 18th Century, had all but eradicated smallpox, measles […]

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Constitutional Law Litigation

Colorado Gay Wedding Cake Case: Is Selling A Cake “Speech”?

On Tuesday The Supreme Court will hear oral argument on one of the most anticipated cases on the docket for this term: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission Back in 2012, Charlie Craig and David Mullins were set to celebrate their wedding in Denver, after having been married in Massachusetts. Jack Phillips, a well […]

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Constitutional Law Litigation

Atheist Teen Forces School to Remove Prayer From Wall After 49 Years

Give 16 year old Jessica Ahlquist an “A” for “chutzpa” for being the successful lead plaintiff in a lawsuit brought by the ACLU against a Cranston Rhode Island school district that forced the district to cover up an eight foot high prayer in the school auditorium. The prayer had been there for 49 years and […]

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General Litigation

9-11 and the Law

Like all NYers,I was devastated by the 9-11 attacks. And like many Nyers I have mixed emotions about commemorating the ten year anniversary of the attack. Yes, its fitting that we remember and honor those who died that day but at the same time, the hair on the back of my neck stood up when […]

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General Litigation

Testing the Limits of the First Amendment

The new Supreme Court term started yesterday and while the docket is once again heavily laden with corporate issues, one of the earliest cases to be argued will be the one involving the Westboro Baptist Church’s practice of protesting at military funerals.  It is a case that is certain to add to the line of […]

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General Litigation

Westchester NY Church Case A Cautionary Tale For Mosque Opponents

Two weeks ago, Federal Judge Stephen Robinson, handed down a decision in a case called Fortress Bible Church v. Feiner, that is like a crystal ball look into the future of any litigation against the proposed mosque two blocks from Ground Zero. In Upstate Greenburgh NY, a Baptist community wanted to move form its cramped […]

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General

Upset About Mosque Near Ground Zero? Blame Tom Jefferson

They say you should never discuss religion and politics among friends and family but who cares what “they” say anyway? Today’s NY Post’s front page, which I saw yesterday in the deli, reads:   “Mike’s Mosque Mania.” I’ll summarize the article so you won’t have to bother to read the Post:  The author chastises NYC […]